Tuesday, July 23, 2024

OPINION: Rational thinking

by BRENT REGAN/Common Sense
| May 31, 2024 1:00 AM

In a recent Coeur d'Alene Press editorial, the lingering ghost of the former editor rises like swamp gas over the Florida Everglades to regurgitate tired and biased tropes against the Republican Party whose members are 63% of the registered voters in their market. When will Press management appreciate that insulting 63% of their potential customers is a poor business model? The public doesn’t need to be insulted; they need information.

To be a rational thinker means that you can consider ratios. You can compare the plusses to the minuses, the good and the bad, the improvements and the detriments to arrive at a balanced consideration of the facts. It isn’t thinking rationally if you only consider the arguments that agree with your opinion. 

Let’s consider all the facts, not just the ones tailored to fit a narrative. 

The official Republican Party in Kootenai County is the KCRCC, and the KCRCC welcomes ALL Republicans. The KCRCC does not exclude anyone who is qualified to vote and affiliates with the Republican Party. This is evidenced by the fact that Republican affiliation has grown from 53% to 63% over the last decade, a number even more impressive considering how much the overall population has increased. 

Does the KCRCC call out the fact that some Republican candidates running for office may not be in alignment with the Republican Party platform and ideals? Absolutely. The voter deserves to know if a candidate running as a “conservative Republican” was a hardcore Democrat less than a year ago. Not informing the voter would make the KCRCC a co-conspirator in the deception. The Press editor apparently believes that less accurate information is more desirable than simply better information.

Should the KCRCC be the only organization that does not engage in elections that don’t have primaries? Apparently The Press editor thinks so, but oddly makes no comment about the Democrats having an open plan to run and endorse philosophically Democrat candidates for these offices. Should Republicans “stand respectfully aside” and remain silent while all other organizations, agencies and special interests run wild? Granted, some Republicans have been doing just that while other “republicans” advocate loudly for it. Are you happy with the results? Probably not.

Did you know that in this latest election, not a single Democrat precinct committeeman seat was challenged, yet none received more than 69 votes?

Did you know there are over 230 elected offices with taxing authority in Kootenai County? Just look at all those taxing agencies at the bottom of your property tax bill. Each one has at least three elected positions. The KCRCC believes the voters should have choices. This is why the KCRCC has recruited over 60 candidates for these various offices, so that you, the voter, would have a choice.

There was a small water district on the east side of the lake that was near collapse due to mismanagement by the elected board. Why so badly managed? Because nobody else wanted the job and the board members would get reelected after running unopposed. It was the KCRCC that helped find competent managers who were willing to take on the task but knew little about running for office. It was the KCRCC who helped them campaign and win their elections. Because of the KCRCC, the district is now very well managed and customers in 400 households are happy that when they turn on their tap, fresh, clean and safe water flows.  

It was KCRCC-recommended candidates Jeff Tyler and David Russell that had DECREASED the Post Falls Highway District budget by 1% for the last three years, without reducing quality or services. This is the ONLY highway district in the state to reduce their budget. Without the KCRCC, Post Falls taxpayers would be paying higher property taxes. 

It was KCRCC-recommended candidates who stood against the Orwellian and expensive Traffic Management Center project that would have maintained surveillance on every car. Despite what initially appeared to be a slam dunk to get approval, KCRCC recommended candidates persisted, informed the public and persuaded their KMPO associates to just say no. 

It was KCRCC members that gave persuasive testimony which eventually led to the county abandoning efforts to change the form of county government that would have eliminated multiple elected offices and replaced them with appointed positions, centralizing power and diminishing the voice of the voter. The KCRCC protects your right to vote. 

What about the KCRCC Voter Guide? The KCRCC paid to have a professional poll taken of likely Republican voters to determine which issues were important to them. We then asked all the candidates to give written statements on the nine most important issues. Their answers were published unedited in the KCRCC Voter Guide, and 80,000 copies were printed and distributed to every mailbox in the county. This put the information the voter needed to make an informed decision right at their fingertips. The entire effort was done by volunteers and at NO COST to the voters. There were other voter guides, but none with 100% countywide distribution, not even close. The KCRCC works hard to inform the voters so they can make a rational decision. 

Gone are the days where the candidate who bought the most advertising space would win their election. In Kootenai County, we have an active and engaged Republican Central Committee which has a thorough and transparent process for evaluating candidates and making recommendations based on a majority vote of a representative cross section of Kootenai County Republicans. 

Rational thinking tells us that good decisions depend on good information.

It’s just common sense.

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Brent Regan is chairman of the Kootenai County Republican Central Committee.